All I Want To Know Is…

… who approved this?

What’s with the synchronized leaning? What year is it again?

126 comments on “All I Want To Know Is…”. Leave your own?
  1. Poor blank document never saw it coming, how it’s parents must be feel. Growing up only to become a Word generated HTML document… oh the horror!

  2. Tom Carmony says:

    Wow, and the portraits were done at Yueng Lui! They look almost as good as my senior pictures taken there (12 years ago).

  3. Nick Toye says:

    I think your being unfair, it looks much better in IE ;)

  4. adam says:

    yeah – in IE they aren’t leaning ;)

  5. Mike P. says:

    18.63 kilobytes of markup. I could’a done it in 15 :)

    So, were you looking for a layout for the “Newsvine Team” page when you found this?

  6. Nick Toye says:

    How can a page so small have 183 validation errors!

  7. Phil Wilks says:

    Is anyone interested in setting up a charity to help people like Puget Bindery? I’m serious.

  8. Tanc says:

    Impressive find. Word produced HTML, haven’t seen this stuff in a while.

  9. Raanan Avidor says:

    Let me play the devil advocate.
    What is wrong with this page?
    So you don’t like the images? Tip, Dan and Robert are actually looking like nice people, they are leaning to break formality, I think it does the job.

    The HTML is heavy? So what? Who cares? This page is by far lighter then 99% of pages on the net.

    The HTML is not valid? Again, so what? Who cares? If you get to this site, can you find out easily how to contact them? I think there are a lot of “designed” sites that it is a lot harder to find that information in them.

    It took 10 minutes to build this site.

    You don’t need to know (X)HTML, CSS, JavaScript to build it or maintain it, only how to use Word.

    It’s not nice, it is not cool, but I truly believe it does the job.
    (They might have a problem getting it into the search engines).

  10. Nick Toye says:

    RE: Raanan Avidor

    I don’t think I am alone in saying this but:

    come again?

  11. Bramus! says:

    Made with MS Office Word 9 … they prolly made it themselves.

    Notice the lovely use of the conditional comments:

  12. Raanan: And People might have a problem reading their tagline (“The Art of bookbinding at its commercial best”) – since it’s hidden behind their photos. ;)

  13. JBagley says:

    I wonder which one of the 3 of them designed it? Must be that rocket-scienctist looking oke on the right. :-)

  14. Raanan Avidor says:

    The site sucks, it sucks big time, I could make jokes about it (and Tip, Dan and Robert) from here till new years eve. The HTML sucks. The images sucks. Everything sucks.

    Again, I’m taking the Devil advocate job here.

    – What did Tip, Dan and Robert wanted? I think they wanted to put their contact information on the web (e-mail, address, phone) and they did just that.
    – How much did it cost them? 0$, how much would you have charged them?
    – How easy is it to maintain it? Very easy, Word and (maybe) a FTP client is all they need, no need to contact anyone, no need to know anything else.
    – Lets say there will be a miracle and the site will be indexed by search engines (they will need a miracle for that to happen, and this post just might give them that miracle), now lets say that you are from Kent WA looking for a bookbinding company nearby, you go to your favorite search engine and search for Kent WA bookbinding and you find our little lovely site. Will you find in that site what you are looking for? I think the answer is yes.

    It is a success.

  15. David M. says:

    I bet they’re really good book-binders, though. Who cares if they can’t design websites?

    There’s a rubber store here in Australia whose slogan is “Rubber … and so much more”. I think it’s a crappy way to advertise — I’d rather a business did one thing well than try to do lots of things and wind up doing them all badly.

    If you want to have a high-school-style snigger at the poor design, go for it. But don’t forget that there’s nothing on that site to claim they have skills in anything other than book-binding.

  16. Nick Toye says:

    Raanan Avidor:

    It is not a success because who in their right mind is going to want to do business with them, the site is poor beyond belief, what age are you in? You need to offer more in the way of an image of your company. You can’t just drop a contact information on the page and expect it to make you money, so how on earth is it a success?

  17. Nick Toye says:

    David M:

    Its not a case of having a high school snigger at the design, I left school in 1993 so i’m beyond that now. It is more a case of us forward thinking designers looking at a site that is taking major steps backwards.

    Nobody has to say on their site that they are web designers, but then again you wouldn’t put a poster up that was designed by a child with some crayons.

    Its all about creating a professional image for your company, which they have clearly not achieved here. If there is a rival company with a nice looking site, regardless of whether or not they are better than eachother, the site that looks the nicest and more importantly conveys the cleanest and more professional image is going to win the business.

    Anyone disagree with that?

  18. David M. says:

    OK, so they have a crappy website. I think we can all see that. I don’t see what is gained from pointing and laughing, though. I mean, are we learning any usability lessons from this apart from “don’t make HTML in Word”, which is kind of a no-brainer? Or any art-direction lessons apart from “don’t use craptacular photos of your staff unless you want to be mocked on the internet”?

    If the site were any one of the multitude of corporate sites that have made ridiculous design decisions recently (e.g., the huge backwards step taken by, then I’d say this is a post — and discussion — with merit. But to me, this is like trying to take major design lessons away from a teenager’s Johnny Depp fan site on Geocities. Of course it’s going to suck — but there’s not much that any of us in the industry can learn from that.

  19. I see where Raanan is going…

    Hey, it’s better than no website at all. Only just, but still.

  20. Raanan Avidor says:

    I’m sorry, but you are living in a bubble.
    I just went to Google Local and searched for book (in the What) and Kent, WA (in the Where).
    I’ve picked the top 5 results that have a site (and by the way Puget Bindery Inc was one of the results!).
    Check them out:

    They are all Ill designed sites, so no one in Kent WA is doing business?

  21. Chad Edge says:

    Mike, I’ve always thought about creating a communal site where people could post URL’s to “less than beautiful” Web layouts. Just for fun, participants could upload/link to a 1-page redesign. Purely for discussion (however, I’d secretly thought a couple design jobs might come of it from some of the submissions).

    Might make for a nice next-up contest, no?

  22. Nick Toye says:

    I don’t think we are pointing the finger and laughing, well i’m not. I just see it as a poor example of a website, and that it is not a success in the current climate.

    Also there is a difference between a fansite on geocities and a corporate site for a book binding company.

  23. Brownspank says:

    (Hopefully,) binding books is what they’re good at. I’m sure they’d laugh their leaning torsoes off if I tried my hand at bookbinding. My bindsmanship probably sucks.

    It’s all a matter of perspective.

  24. Nick Toye says:

    Yes but thats not the point, would you scribble a logo in biro and sellotape it to some a4 paper and call it your letter headed paper, well I can’t design but i’m bloody good at book-binding.

    I don’t think so. A book-binder is not supposed to know html or photoshop but he/she is expected to get someone who is to do the job for them.

  25. Raanan Avidor says:

    Grey: Great image!
    Newsvine – there is some great design out there. and I love the images they put in the articles. Everybody uses the same images (mostly from AP), but the design of Newsvine give the pictures a lot of respect, they look much better then in other cluttered news sites.

  26. Brian says:

    This was my third or fourth click of the morning, and boy oh boy was it a funny one! All that’s missing is the wodden fence or wagon wheel in the background — big up Olan Mills studios for this style of studio shot.

  27. Yoeri says:

    Looks like the new cast of BBC ‘s the office.

    I like the use of blue in the :-)

  28. Matthew says:

    Hehe. His name is ‘Tip’.

  29. Greg says:

    Those guys aren’t paper binders, why they’re an action weather team! And I’m pretty sure they were a one hit wonder band in the early 70’s: Dan and the Bayless Boys singing, “Hey dude, don’t be so Bay.”

  30. Baxter says:

    Looking at the “lastsaved” in the code, it looks like it’s from 2000. I’m sure they’ll be much more websavvy when they redesign.

    Wow, that’s ugly.

  31. Tip kinda looks like Keith Robinson (don’t take that badly Keith… his name is TIP!).

  32. Conánn says:

    the guy with the bug eyes on the left (who looks abit like D. Keith)

  33. Dave Simon says:

    Matthew beat me to the “Tip” pun…

  34. Eric Meyer says:

    Personally, the pictures made me think of a 50’s doo-wop band. “Sugar pie, honey pie…”

    Still, whatever else we might think of the site’s ‘design’, the slogan “for the best binding service you’ve ever experienced” is a total winner.

    Oh wait, they’re talking about BOOK binding?

    Um, never mind.

  35. Javahead says:

    Is it just me, or does the guy on the far right look just like Jeff Foxworthy wearing glasses?

    “You know you’re an HTML redneck when….”

  36. Philipp Kruse says:

    What really amazes me is the code (is that even the right term in this case?) Word is capable of generating.. It’s not even »just« bad; it actually looks like someone knew precisely how to write some sort of WYSIWYG editor, then decided to do the exact opposite.

  37. Joe Casabona says:

    Here is a major point I feel was missed(unless I missed them):

    – A business is represented by its presentation. If this store was in the slums of some run down city with a crooked sign and paint peeling, I have a feeling you wouldn’t go in there, because they don’t care about their appearance. It is the same with any website. If the website does not look good, the user will get the idea that this is the way they run their business: half assed and something that just gets the job done. And if that is how their business is represented how do they feel about their products?

  38. dave says:

    It’s from their many years in the glee club together. :-P

  39. Mike D. says:

    Nick Toye hit the nail on the head here:

    A book-binder is not supposed to know html or photoshop but he/she is expected to get someone who is to do the job for them.

    This isn’t the mid 90s where just having a website put you ahead of the game. However low your standards might be and however unrelated your business is, having a site this awful is a net negative in my opinion. People looking for book bindery services will likely care about “general design sense and attention to detail” no? I would.

    The MS Office generated code is the height of pitiful (complete with “behavior” elements! what are those???), but it’s the presentation that sticks out to me… oh and the leaning too.

  40. Is it just me, or is that Steve Zahn on the right?

  41. Collin says:

    Wow.. Microsoft Word. What 3|_337 Skillz. Hey I like the synchronized leaning though. Puts me in a disco roller skate mood.

  42. Corra says:

    The choreographed lean makes me feel dizzy.

    I’m wondering how many of you have contacted these bookbinders and offered to spice up & optimize their site?

  43. Mike Rundle says:

    I’d like to welcome Raanan Avidor to the world of professional web design. Welcome Raanan Avidor!

  44. Mike P. says:

    Jason, I was so going to recomment and say that :-)

  45. tre says:

    nick and mike have it right. running a business is more than just being an expert at what you do.

    i’m sure the bookbinding company isn’t in the business of accounting, does that mean they don’t need a professional accountant? they’re not in the business of plumbing, but i’m certain they’ve got professional plumbers to take care of their office washrooms. they’re not in the business of telecommunications either, but i’m pretty sure they didn’t get their 12 year old nephew to install their phone system.

    yes — companies will skimp on certain areas of their business… and it always shows.

    running a business is about knowing when to hire the right people to do the work you cannot or should not — so you can go back to concentrate on what you’re actually paid to do.

  46. We should GoogleBomb these guys, they totally deserve the #1 spot for book binding.

    “for the best binding service you’ve ever experienced”

  47. Coudal says:

    The CP Investigative Unit takes on the lean. Film at ten.

  48. Chris Hester says:

    philipp wagenblast wrote:

    And People might have a problem reading their tagline (“The Art of bookbinding at its commercial best”) – since it’s hidden behind their photos. ;)

    Not in Opera 9. ;-)

    Raanan Avidor – I’m with you. By the time ‘cool’ designers have ripped apart the code by wading through the source, Jo(e) Average has already called them for business. They don’t care how the site was made!

    Besides, I’ve seen a lot worse. At least there’s no cycling rainbow lines, blinking text, marquee headlines, spinning 3D email symbols, etc, etc, etc. The design may suck, but at least it’s minimal.

    Shame about the fuzzy graphics though, especially the logo.

  49. Mike D. says:

    Wow. Coudal. That is spectacular. Downtown Seattle is only about 20 minutes away from Kent… I’ll send some gumshoes down there right away.

  50. Lance says:

    Of course, being Word generated HTML, it breaks in Firefox. The top banner “The Art of bookbinding at its commercial best” is behind the Leaning Amigos. They block out all the words but “ok” and “ommer” “ommer” is suspiciously close to Omar … a popular Middle Eastern name. Given a small bit of profiling and the clever encoded message… we have clearly stumbled on a terrorist sleeper cell!! Think about it, the discipline and the coordination it takes to all get the lean just right. Clearly these guys are well trained. Question is now: who is Omar and what is it ‘ok’ for him to do?!

  51. Nick Toye says:

    Chris Hester – Its not a case of the “cool web designer” ripping apart the code, you make us sound like all we do is design flash splash pages.

    I didn’t have to look at the source to know that it had around 180 errors in it, I could tell from the first impression that it was going to have poor code.

    Good First Impressions is the most important element a business can have. If you can’t manage to portray a great image from the initial impressions what kind of comfort are you offering to “Joe Average” that your service is A1. A tagline saying you are the greatest doesn’t always mean that you are.

    How many web designers call themselves Quality Web Design.
    These are usually reserved for the guys who advertise their service through the free papers.

  52. Spike says:

    1) Yes the site is pants, we can all agree
    2) Yes using Word is a bad idea
    3) Yes I am quite sure they might have a few extra emails tomorrow
    4) erm Yes it’s minimal

    Companies can no longer get away with just having a site as someone further up said. In todays market a site has to convey a certain professionalism for it to be considered.

    Someone also said that by the time designers had finished ripping it apart, Jo(e) Public would have ordered – I disagree.
    If you are looing to book a holiday online and came to a site that looked like that, would you book?


  53. ak says:


    in “view rendered source” its kinda psycadelic-

  54. I want that ‘stache…badly, if only I’ll be one step closer to looking like Chuck…

  55. Steve says:

    A corporate web site is typically nothing more than a marketing brochure. It appears to me that Puget Bindery not only got their name out, I bet you will also remember them too.

    Seems to me that the web site is SUCCESSFUL at accomplishing the primary goal of their firm, to inform more people about their services.

  56. Derek Cooper says:

    HAHA, That’s hilarious. The photos are so cheesy. LOL

  57. If you squint, the middle guy looks like George W. Bush.

  58. Brad says:

    That’s right, Brian, that is in fact Dubyah… but in the FUTURE!

    After a few years in Detroit, Kip Dynamite (pictured on the right) moves to the Puget Bay area to form a binding company. He hires former President George W. Bush, and a crosseyed friend named Tip. Kip, while browsing through the Word 2000 manual on a Saturday night, learns that word can make websites! What a money-saver! Overly-excited, Kip, after spending 3 weeks on the site, didn’t quite understand “Publish to Web” and he accidentally uploads it into the year 2006.

  59. Raanan Avidor says:

    Mike Rundle: This site is exactly not professional web design, it is home made design. It does not use (X)HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AJAX, Ruby on Rails, PHP, or whatever.

    I’m not sure they will get a positive ROI if they will take a hotshot designer that will take their hard earned money to design a valid XHTML 1.0 site. They don’t care if they have tables in their site or if the site validates or if they have hacks in their CSS.

    Do a search in Google local for book and Kent, WA.
    Puget Bindery Inc is there.
    Check other sites from that result page.
    I’ve checked the ones above the Puget Bindery Inc.
    They are all like that, maybe a little better.
    They are built with FrontPage. they were not built by professional web designer.
    And I think it’s OK.

  60. Mike D. says:

    Raanan: It’s not about Ajax, Ruby on Rails, or validation. Nor is it about spending thousands of dollars on features you don’t need. It’s about brand and image. The Puget Bindery site shows no regard for this… and in fact, an utter disregard for it.

    A Mike Industries reader produced a beautiful looking quick redesign in a matter of hours for the Puget Bindery folks. Let’s see if they take him up on this random act of design kindness.

  61. Raanan Avidor says:

    Don’t know why I was carried away on the technology track, it IS about design, image and brand.
    Can we have a quick peek at the design? (I won’t call it a redesign, there is nothing to redesign there).
    But I have a question. If it’s about brand, how can you redesign Puget Bindery Inc site? How can you brand them?
    I know that whatever you’ll do will be a thousand fold better, but will it be their brand or yours?

  62. Nick Toye says:


    I may remember the site but I certainly won’t be giving them my business. So how is that a success???

  63. Chad Edge says:

    “A Mike Industries reader produced a beautiful looking quick redesign in a matter of hours for the Puget Bindery folks.”

    It begins.

  64. Ray says:

    (Just as an exercise and case study) I’d love to see what a few professional designers would come up with using only the elements provided in the current design. Maybe even provide a short overview outlining what the designer did to improve the design.

    Not a contest, just an exercise.

  65. Dave says:

    LOL pure class not seen a word html document for a long while. Nice find!

  66. Fred says:

    This has been some good reading this morning. I find websites like this all the time. I wonder if these guys are wondering why they are getting so many hits to their website today. I was going to e-mail them a link to this entry.

    Here’s another bad one:

    They even offer web design.

  67. Ray says:

    Unless you were going to help…. why would you do that. It’s all well and good to have a water cooler lark about someone else’s short comings but…. let’s not be mean about it.

  68. BigA says:

    Sorry – I don’t lean that way.

  69. Nick Toye says:

    Ray – that is right, its not a point and laugh situation, more of a “get your bloody site sorted, otherwise your going to get sucked back into the 90’s”

    I do get some of my clients by explaining to them the shortcomings of their site and then explaining to them what benefit they can receive by having a redesign done my me.

    Constructive Criticism with a Positive Outcome!

  70. Chris Hester says:

    You guys ain’t seen nothing. Check this site for a quality logo.

  71. Fred says:

    I wasn’t saying I would send the link to this forum to be mean. I think they honestly don’t realize how bad their webpage is.

    It’s like telling a bald guy about his comb over.

  72. jw says:

    What’s wrong with my comb-over?

  73. Tony says:

    Ok, here’s a question to all those who think it doesn’t matter whan a site looks like, that customers won’t care:

    * Let’s say YOU are looking for some bookbinding. You find the aforementioned site, as well as this one:

    Now, quick, which one are you more likely to call?

    If you said “it doesn’t matter” or “I’d call the first one”, then I’d love to hear from you. I have a guaranteed “system” that will make you a millionaire over night! I’ll give you the address where to send the check…BUT, you’ll have to get a new email account, as I filter all address to the junk folder.

  74. Tony says:

    Forgot to add, the site I referenced is by no means perfect, but at least it’s presentable. (They do need to differentiate their links, though…there are links hidden in the text that you can only discover by hovering over the text…)

  75. Derek Cooper says:

    You know, Steve Jobs once said – Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.

  76. You know what’s really sad about this? Those guys are probably really good at what they do, but the face they’ve decided to show the world looks really bad and is possibly costing them business this very minute.

    I disagree with Raanan Avidor’s comments that having their web site professionally done will not yield a positive ROI. They don’t necessarily need a big site. A single-page, professionally-designed site could be made to suffice without making them look like amateur hour.

    You wouldn’t suggest that a business not have a real printer print their business cards for fear of negative ROI on the cards, would you? You wouldn’t suggest that a business not hire a real accountant for fear of negative ROI, would you? You wouldn’t suggest that a business not hire a real film crew to shoot their commercial for fear of negative ROI, would you? Of course businesses should have a pro do their site, just like they rely on a pro to do their books or their taxes or their plumbing.

    This is a prime example of the tools being mistaken for the ability. Web design tools are so ubiquitous now, and so easy to use, that people by and large forget that you also need to know why to use the tools, and when.

    I can swing a hammer, but I am no carpenter. I can splint a broken arm, but I am no doctor. I can turn a wrench, but I am not a mechanic. And so it is with sites such as this one.

    I hope they take up the free redesign offer from the good samaritan here at Mike’s.

  77. Johnny says:

    There’s some serious lack of support for this book-binding trio. After looking at their site and reading most all of the comments here, I have a few questions:

    – What was their goal in creating this site and who is it aimed at?
    – Was it to draw in more business? Or to quiet that nagging person who keeps on telling them, “You’ve gotta have a website!”
    – Is this site really making them loose business … business they wouldn’t have gotten anyway, had they no website?
    – If they’re just a local business that operates by word-of-mouth, the Yellow pages, and repeat customers, how much more business would they really get if they had a nicer site?

    I don’t know the answers to these questions. I do know that in the eyes of a small business owner, this site cost $0 to design and put up. So if it brings them even one job (which is not beyond the relm of possibilty) then to them, it was a success. Far be it for me to rain on their parade. They had a goal and, as long as it wasn’t to take the online binding world by storm, accomplished it.

    To Robert Bayless:
    Do I like you website design? No, not really.
    Do I like you glasses? Heck yes I do.

  78. Justin says:

    You haven’t seen anything until you’ve seen this:

    I did a full write up here:

  79. [EDIT OF COMMENT 80]
    My full write up can be found here:

  80. Deathgirl says:

    I agree that some people just don’t need to care all that much about presentation, but I agree that it will scare some people off. In this case … this site is just friggen hilarious … the leaning, the mustache … and the ‘super’ friendly smiles … ah … I’ve seen worse. It’s too hard to completely save the world from bad design … but we can try. Justin, great site … I laugh knowing folks that would take it as serious advise.

  81. Bob says:

    Oops, looks like you did it this time Mike :) Temporarily Unavailable

    This account has surpassed its bandwidth allocation at the present time.

  82. Raanan Avidor says:

    More likely all the hotshot designer around here are using the trio pictures from their site, stealing their bandwidth while aspiring to save the world and bring Puget Bindery Incorporated to the 21st century, where they will be able to compete with the big boys on a leveled playground.

  83. Nick Toye says:

    Raanan Avidor: Are you a hotshot designer? I notice you don’t give us an insight into your portfolio. Or have we all been looking at your work all along ;)

  84. b says:

    WOW! Who knew there were so many incredibly good-looking, amazingly-talented web designers out there?!! At least that’s what I would assume, since y’all are so willing to cast stones.

  85. Alan Houser says:

    And UP COME THE FLAMES. Poor defenseless posters.
    Hey! I’m a poster too! Let me out of here!

  86. Ray says:

    “WOW! Who knew there were so many incredibly good-looking, amazingly-talented web designers out there?!! At least that’s what I would assume, since y’all are so willing to cast stones.”

    Don’t lump me in there. I’m still waiting to see if anyone steps up to the plate to throw together a one page redesign… or an exercise.

  87. b says:

    I like it – a “Design-Off” – a modern-day showdown. May the best design win!!

  88. Joe Casabona says:

    WOW! Who knew there were so many incredibly good-looking, amazingly-talented web designers out there?!! At least that’s what I would assume, since y’all are so willing to cast stones.

    well, i don’t know how good looking I am, but I am pretty talented.

  89. Mark Davis says:

    I don’t know how good looking your website isn’t very well designed.

  90. Joe Casabona says:

    I guess I asked for that.

  91. Alex says:

    “ Temporarily Unavailable

    This account has surpassed its bandwidth allocation at the present time. You may reach the account administrator at […]


  92. Don says:

    I guess I’ll never know … Temporarily Unavailable

    This account has surpassed its bandwidth allocation at the present time. You may reach the account administrator at

    So now let us think, if they had an efficient design, perhaps they would have bandwidth left and perhaps, just maybe, I could have viewed the page.

    Of course Mike has created a lot of buzz for the site and that will no doubt acheive part of their purpose … but on the other hand, a client will not be able to get thier information while they are out of bandwidth. Of course they can buy more bandwidth … but why not make a better site (not that I have seen the old one … I am taking your word for it) now that they have publicity so well handled?

  93. just a thought says:

    The Puget Bindery site is as professional as the CEO of Newsvine’s public blasting of said site’s design. Shame on both.

    (Editor’s Note: Free country, buddy. And wait, did you just say shame on Puget Bindery? Hi Pot, I’m Kettle…)

  94. in thought's defense says:

    It is a free country, so Puget Bindery has just enough right to have their ugly website as you have of making fun of it. That doesn’t mean that either is professional.

  95. Chad Edge says:

    “Hi Pot, I’m Kettle..”

    Genius. Pure genius. I love you, Mike.

    PS: You mentioned a reader had quickly posted a revision – any chance of getting a peek at that? Anyone else?

    PPS: Anyone up for offering better hosting for pugetbindery since we were involved in blowing their bandwidth? I can do so for about ten bucks a month (cheaper if I go with Dreamhost, of course).

  96. just a thought says:

    Someone else came to my defense and said quite well what I was going to restate. I second whoever it was for saying what I meant in a better way.

    It is possible to thank both Pugent and Davidson were unprofessional in this situation and not be hypocritical. I have yet to be unprofessional myself in this venue. Even if I was, I do not have any pretension of professionalism on the internet. I know what I know of professionalism due to off-line experience. Evenmore, I have no connection to either them or you, so I can have a refreshing objectivity in my opinion.

    I understand that your intent in poking fun was not malicious and the bandwith consumption an unintended and unfortunate accident. Still, you could have avoided what happened plus save face if you told those that care in private.

    Although, it is likely that your face is still safe with your target audience and they may give you allowances due to your previous work at espn. They certainly helped with the echo chamber for your new company. I know that it is quite likely that since I am not well-connected in the blogosphere my opinion will not carry as much weight as it would if a well-connected member of the blogosphere wrote the same thing I just typed. Still, that does not lessen the validity of my observation that if professionalism is the main flaw of the entire Pugent site, it is also the main flaw of Mike Davidson’s one post.

    Previous MikeIndustries posts rose above the level of non-constructive criticism and smug elitism. I guess I just never expected this blog to lambast someone else’s work in an unrelated field for a cheap laugh. I came to expect more, and I can get cheaper laughs more often at other sites. Yes, I know it was just a joke, but it was far more sad than funny.

    Finally, I never challenged your right to make fun of Pugent. Likewise, as a visitor to your website you have allowed me to say what I think, and for that I am appreciative.

  97. Chad Edge says:

    There’s a song, I think the Kingston Trio sing it, in which there’s a line “Where have all the flowers gone?” From what I remember, the song is a sad testimony to war and its cost.

    I think, if that song were updated today, it would go a little something like this: “Where has all the humor gone? Long time passing. Where has all the humor gone? Gone to Political Correctness time… ”

    I’m sure you get the idea. If Mike isn’t to worn out from writing about this, I’m sure he’d say he was neither malicious nor judgemental, instead he was attempting to be humorous in making light of a site that we (by we I mean those that have been required to work with similar layout headaches, either employers or clients) could all relate.

    Beyond that, the “If you don’t like what you’re watching, change the channel” rules would apply. I don’t know what to say beyond that.

  98. Mike D. says:

    just a thought: You’re very welcome for the ability to post comments anonymously on this site, and you can keep posting them as long as you’d like. My own opinion is that you’re being a little preachy about this, but hey, that’s your right. If someone is offended or disdainful of something I say (as you appear to be), it’s not their fault… it’s my fault. The communicatOR is *always*, by definition, the cause of any feelings in the communicatEE. And I’m not being sarcastic when I say that.

    That said, however, I’m always prepared for certain people to be offended by certain things I say, and I don’t have a problem with them when they are. Heck, certain people are even offended by the Steve Jobs Poster Contest. I certainly wouldn’t call that contest professional either, for that matter. It’s just a bit of fun.

    There’s really only one thing that I regret about this entry and that’s the fact that Puget Bindery’s bandwidth limit is now exceeded, but hey, they got a free redesign out of it from a good samaritan who reads Mike Industries. Ever heard of the law of unintended consequences? I think it worked quite well in this case. And perhaps they’ll buck up and get a Dreamhost account now too, which will save them even more money.

    How about we just agree on three things: 1) This is a personal blog. 2) This blog post was an unprovoked jocular jab at a company’s lack of attention to design. 3) It’s really not worth trying to vilify me over.

  99. I’m sorry that I “vilified” you or at least assisted in doing so. I wasn’t too offended by this post. At all, really. My main thing was that you pasted a little “editor’s note” on somebody’s post. I didn’t like that. Seemed kinda fascist, and this is your site, do what you want, but I’m going to speak up. What’s more, that “editor’s note” spoke about it being “a free country.” Then let him complain! No? Anyway, I don’t really care too much. I like this blog and will continue to read it and enter contests, so, who gives?

    Brian Flanagan

    (Editor’s Note: I actually wasn’t referring to you, Brian, but wow, “fascist”? That’s officially the worst thing I’ve ever been called in my entire life — by far. Previous record-holder was “a bit of a hothead”. I guess the true fascist thing to do would be to delete your comments and ban your IP, but I really do have to get back to reading Mein Kampf now… if you’ll excuse me.)

  100. Joe Casabona says:

    I don’t know what was said for an editor’s note, but he most definitely reserves the right to edit or delete anything he find overtly offensive.

    It is not smug elitism to say a bad site is bad. It is the truth. It seemed like the did not care about their image. A “whatever, we have a website now” train of thought.

    To ‘punish’ Mike for not having ‘professionalism’ on his personal site is wrong. It is his website with his opinions and they should be respected. And, he leaves everything up for discussion. And this was one of the better discussions I have read through on a blog.

  101. just a thought says:

    Chad, what about my main point?

    Why should I leave because of one minor dissent? At the very least, I will stand my ground because it is solid. I feel it better to at least try to change things that are wrong; even if it is petit.

    If anything, a webpage author should feel lucky that anyone is willing to respond to what they write. It is very rare when I am moved to make a comment on a website, but this particular point of professionalism actually motivated me to write something. Sadly, it was the popular kid in school making fun of that one “weird” kid in the library that never said anything to anyone. Sure, he doesn’t present himself in the best manner, but come on, pick targets that are actually a threat.

    I feel I dealt with the question of whether or not I thought this post was malicious in the third paragraphy of comment 98.

    The joke is not a matter of political correctness as much as it is a matter of the “joke” just plain not being funny on the merit of either the structure and content of the joke. As someone who has been there before, I get the joke but it is an old joke told many times before with better examples.

  102. Joe Casabona says:

    This is not a “target” though. It is truely frustrating to see a website like that when you know full well that you or another web developer can do a job 100 times better. heck, frontpage can do something better.

    The site doesn’t have to be flashy or busy- as a matter a fact I feel that simply designed site are better. Something organized, easy to read and nice to look at.

    A little bit of effort can go a long way. If Mike wants to mention on his site that he does not like the way that site is put together, then he should. It is his opinion.

  103. just a thought says:

    Other posts that I was unaware of while composing 103 bring about this comment.

    I never intended to villify or punish anyone. In the end, I really just wanted to be clear about one point. In that process, I had to defend myself.
    I didn’t mean to offend nor troll. If I offended, I’m sorry. If one feels that I trolled, I have no regrets.

  104. Mike D. says:

    Joe is right here. This is not a “target” and this is not a competitor. This is a company who works in a field closely related to design and publishing, and yet they don’t seem to care enough about their online presence to spend even a few hundred bucks on it. That, to me, is comical (almost more so than the leans), and that’s why I pointed it out. It wasn’t even the state of being bad that was comical, it was the degree of badness that could not go without comment.

    Just as I gave my own opinion on this situation, “just a thought” and Brian have the right to voice their opinion as well. Doesn’t mean I think they are right in the least bit, but hey, people disagree.

  105. richard says:

    I thought this was a good post, and some of the discussion raised valid points. I took the site as more of an example of the kind of crap sites out their, than a literal point and laugh at one company.

    The bandwidth was exceeded before i got there but the google cache propably says enough, though I’ll proably never see the sync leaning!

    Unsurprisingly it comes down to marketing, the usual mix of layout and content – ie does it represent the company well? In this case no, it makes them look bad. A previous poster said something like ‘if it cost $0 and if they get one job from it they are ahead’. I’d look at it the other way round – it’s so bad that they could very well lose business because of it, but they will likely never know cos people are not going to say ‘I was going to use you but your site put me off’.

    If they spent a few hundred $ (I’m in the UK so a few hundred £ UKP would do here) then I am sure they would have ended up with an advert that did them proud. That is not a lot of money for any business if they are hoping to get any kind of revenue generated via their site. Good standard based code would just help to make the experience that bit better and maximise the number of people who would be able to view the site correctly, including search engines. If they get a good web developer in then any changes should be quick and very, very cheap – if needed at all.

    I like the idea of a design off! Anyone up to the challenge should post a link to their ‘improved’ one page site – I guess Mike may not want that here tho!

    Phew – sorry for the long post.

    (I actually posted an entry on my blog about roughly the same thing, hoping to envoke just this kind of discussion but no one reads it so I have no comments lol!)

  106. Chad Edge says:


    You said “but they will likely never know cos people are not going to say ‘I was going to use you but your site put me off’.”

    Actually, I have declined using a printer recently just because of that. Their prices were quite nice, their samples were quality, but their Web site had two grammatical errors that glared at me (I’m a stickler when it comes to stuff like that – if the printer can’t get their own chest-puffing written correctly, then I’m not one to give them my money). I gave them a chance by e-mailing them my request for printing and mentioned the errors. The replied by telephone with a nasty bit of attitude, further making my case that I didn’t want to work with them.

    I don’t think everything written or posted needs to be approved by E.B. White, but business literature should certainly conform. I feel the same should be for your business presence on the Internet. Restating my earlier post as well as those of others – you don’t need to have the latest wizbang JavaScript features, or drop shadows or glass-style graphic elements, but a simple yet professional appearance goes a long way.

  107. Jonathan says:

    I think this article by the BBC applies in this situation…

    First impressions count for web

  108. Fred says:

    How appropriate for this discussion:

    By Kamakshi Tandon

    TORONTO (Reuters) – Internet users can give Web sites a thumbs up or thumbs down in less than the blink of an eye, according to a study by Canadian researchers.

    In just a brief one-twentieth of a second — less than half the time it takes to blink — people make aesthetic judgments that influence the rest of their experience with an Internet site.

    The study was published in the latest issue of the Behavior and Information Technology journal. The author said the findings had powerful implications for the field of Web site design.

    “It really is just a physiological response,” Gitte Lindgaard told Reuters on Tuesday. “So Web designers have to make sure they’re not offending users visually.

    “If the first impression is negative, you’ll probably drive people off.”

    In the study, researchers discovered that people could rate the visual appeal of sites after seeing them for just one-twentieth of a second. These judgments were not random, the researchers found — sites that were flashed up twice were given similar ratings both times.

    They also matched the responses given by subjects who were shown the sites for longer.

    But the results did not show how to win a positive reaction from users, said Lindgaard, a psychology professor at Carleton University in Ottawa. “When we looked at the Web sites that we tested, there is really nothing there that tells us what leads to dislike or to like.”

    And while further research may offer more clues, she said the vagaries of personal taste would always be a limiting factor.

    “If design were reducible to a set of principles, wouldn’t we find an awful lot of similar houses, gardens, cars, rooms?” said Lindgaard. “You’d have no variety.”

  109. Chris Hester says:

    Chad Edge (comment 108) – how ironic that your post contains two errors.

  110. EJ says:

    heh lol @ the site but hey as someone said before they might be good at what they do but they are showing a bad presentation of them to the outside world coming from internet :P

    I’ll make a redesign and post it If I get time :)

  111. Chad Edge says:

    Chris Hester (comment 111) – how ironic that you misread “I don’t think everything written or posted needs to be approved by E.B. White, but business literature should certainly conform.”

    Obviously you missed the point. Was my post business literature? Was my post used as a potential tool to gather sales leads, or was it simply a personal observation?

    If I have made mistakes, please take a short moment to elaborate on your post; tell me what the errors were. I think the majority of posts under this topic agree: it’s useless to point a finger unless you also inform (e.g.: what corrections should be made).

  112. Don says:

    At the risk of wasting more bandwidth, I see the site is back up. I finally got a look.

    Who did the redesign(s) to offer to them? Did you ever post it somewhere so we could see it? I would like to see the suggestions.

    Last, I have a problem … I am working on my own bad design :-) and need to improve it a little … I am trying to figure this out … how can I run the horizontal to the vertical and still get it to work?

    You all are much smarter than me so I would appreciate your help.

  113. Chad Edge says:

    Alright, I’ve read enough comments (both here and elsewhere) about redesign projects.

    I’ve decided to research the redesign idea I posted about above and on some of your blogs.

    Here’s what I’m proposing: Anyone that’s interested in helping set up the project, please e-mail me (you can find my address through my site; the link is attached to my name above). I’d like to get a few people together via e-mail to lay plans for how the redesign project would work.

    My thinking: visitors to the redesign site would submit URL’s that they find ‘offensive’ (by that word I mean ‘less than desirable design or function,’ not offensive as in inappropriate). Next, the URL would be reviewed by an admin or staff of the redesign site – where the contact information, address, etc. would be replaced with dummy text (123 Any Street, etc.) and any logos or other identifiable information would be slightly altered. The goal would be to keep as true to the original layout as possible, while lessening the chance that a redesign participant (designer) would directly solicit or bomb the ‘offending’ domain. Next, the ‘slightly altered’ site would be published to a public area on the redesign site where participants could discuss the layout and upload/link their best 1-page redesign attempt. After a set period of time (say, two weeks?), the top five designs would be packaged together with a cover letter and sent to the original domain owner(s). The cover letter would explain our reasons for the redesign project (being as courteous as possible to the owner); provide a list of resources that may help improve the domain, as well as the contact information, rates, and submissions of the top five design participants.

    That’s a long post there, but I felt this would be the fastest way most of you would see this, instead of me following around the Interweb commenting on blogs. I have left comments with many of you, as well as some others I’ve found through Newsvine, etc.

    So, what do you think?


  114. Paul says:

    I have to say I just pee’d in my pants. I personally think “Tip” crafted this wonder. He looks like the young hot-shot. He’s the top gun.

  115. Well got little bit of time and did a Quick Redesign
    Only using elements already on the page :).

  116. Don says:

    Funny part is your page Eblin … under construction?

  117. That’s right Don…my life right now is in a “busy state” and no time to do my website…This redesign took me like 30-1hour my site wont take me that and college right now is sucking my time plus some other projects…so yes is funny I guess.

  118. Milt says:

    I have been following this thread for about 3 weeks and I have to chime in. I am a competitor of Puget Bindery and am right down the street from them. We have a modest web site, nothing to brag about.

    Did anyone send any of these thoughts to Tip and Bob? I wonder how they feel about this whole thread?

    For what it is worth, Dan retired several years back and sold the business to the brothers, Tip and Bob. Their father, George Bayless was the owner of what used to be the largest bindery in the area – Bayless Bindery. The withdrawal of Microsoft from the book printing industry put Bayless out of business.

    Anyway, Tip and Bob are just two small business owners (nice guys at that) trying to make a living. Bindery typically is not viewed as a technology driven business and I’m guessing they felt that a web presence was not important. I’m not sure I can refute that, even though we put ours up over 10 years back.

    Anyway, put together your best shot at redesign and present it to them. I’ll bet they will listen”

    From down the street at Seattle Bindery.

  119. Don says:

    Hi Milt,

    Congrats on a successful career move to the bindery business (I feel I sort of know you after looking around your site — that is a positive thing for a prosepective client don’t you think?). I think you just proved the point. If I were looking for a bindery in your area, based upon comparing your page to theirs … easy choice. You have tons of information showing me significant cababilites and more important breadth of abilities.

    I would spend some time cleaning up your site if it were me. If you want more on that email me directly. You can use the contact form from my site. I would also seriously consider using a content management system that would generate rss feeds for you so that interested customers and so forth could follow your library additions. I suspect that by doing that, you will find you keep your name in front of your customers more regularly and that can only pay off in the end.

    I don’t think anybody here was suggesting that these guys weren’t good at what they did or meant to actually pick on them. I presume if you are following this discussion, they must also be aware of it? They fired right to the top of search engine rankings, so this could actually be positive for them if they take the next step.

    Broken link to this by the way:

    A web site tune-up should be an annual affair for most companies I think. Yours may be overdue. If you need help with that, let me know.

  120. Robert says:

    I guess: Synchronized leaning is the meeting of two lines…
    on the horizon.

  121. Don says:

    looks like a gorgeous day on the sound … just like the description says, but 57 degrees? What happened to summer time? Hope it warms up. The water looks calm today.

  122. Good Design

    Mike over at Mike Industriesrecently wrote about a site that has poor design. It has sparked a lot of discussion. Most are saying that it is bad and they should have hired a professional. However some are playing devil’s advocate, saying that &#8…

  123. Please make the web work better for me than you made the graphics work for you

    I’m not one to usually spend my time railing on Microsoft, but this is just disturbing. Check out the graphics they have provided in the screenshots highlighting the beta release 2 of IE7. As Mike Davidson might inquire, who approved…

  124. […] but whatever. It’s awful… and I won’t even get into the actual design of the site. We’ve already done that once this year. […]

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